CAIRO: Thousands of protesters demanding an end to military rule were prevented for several hours from reaching the parliament building by a crowd presumed to be affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.
The human shield left the scene at around 6:45 pm when the People’s Assembly (PA) session was adjourned.
A number of MPs reportedly spoke to the protesters after they left the PA building.
"The people want the fall of the Brotherhood," chanted protesters. "There are two you can’t trust…the army and the Brotherhood.”
At some point the protesters threw water bottles and held up their shoes at those manning the civilian wall in disrespect of the Brotherhood. Protesters reported minor scuffles.
The Ministry of Health said 43 were injured, according to official news portal egynews.net.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s (MB) political arm, The Freedom and Justice Party, swept the polls winning 47 percent of seats in the PA, Egypt’s legislative lower house.
Protesters have repeatedly slammed the MB for what they perceive as their political opportunism which has set them on a collision course with masses adamant to end military rule.
Some of those blocking the way admitted to being members of the FJP, while others denied it.
"Why do they want to approach parliament? The Egyptian people are the ones who nominated this parliament," computer engineer Mahmoud Ahmed told Daily News Egypt.
"This is no time to stand against the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which is protecting the country," he added.
On the other hand, FJP member Alaa Gouda argued that the protesters could have been infiltrated by thugs who may attack the MPs during the session.
Iman Mohamed, 24, described the civilians blocking their path as "the Muslim Brotherhood’s dogs."
"The Brotherhood cut a deal with SCAF and the revolutionaries are the ones paying the price now," said Tamer Aly, 23, who joined the protesters from the sit-in at the State TV building Maspero.
Thousands rallied in El-Falaky Street in front of the Ministry of Health chanting "peaceful" and refusing attempts to trigger violent clashes with the civilian wall.
Several marches poured into the street from Cairo University, Maspero and Tahrir chanting "down with the military rule."
The protesters demanded that SCAF begin the registration process for presidential elections immediately.
"The more SCAF stays in power the more it tarnishes the reputation of the revolutionaries and accuses them of being thugs," said Kholoud, a Cairo University student.
Professor at Cairo University’s Faculty of Medicine Mona El-Saeid said, "If we had faith that SCAF would hand over power by June, we would have waited, but we don’t."
SCAF has vowed to hand over power to an elected president by June 2012.
Iman Mohamed came with a women’s march to El-Falaky Street to demand women’s right to be represented in the PA, complaining that women have been sidelined following the revolution.
"Women have always been an essential part of the PA since 1919," said Neama Mohamed, 35.
There are only 11 women out of a total 508 MPs.
"Women have played a great role in the Jan.25 uprising, they shouldn’t be sidelined," said Nelly Darwish, 37.
The martyrs’ families also gathered in front of the civilian wall demanding retribution for their children.
"[Ousted President] Hosni Mubarak and [former Interior Minister] Habib El-Adly, should be executed in a public square," said Madiha, mother of martyr Moustafa Sami.
Mubarak and El-Adly are currently on trial for complicity in the killing of 225 protesters during the 18-day revolt that toppled the regime.
MPs have made it clear starting their first session that justice for the martyrs tops their agenda.
In his first address to the PA on Tuesday, Prime Minister Kamal El-Ganzoury stressed that compensating the martyrs was not enough and that their killers must be punished.
"This is all just talk," Madiha said.
Hosna, mother of martyr Mohamed Aboul Ela, sobbed outside parliament, complaining that they wouldn’t let her inside to speak to the MPs.
"I want Mubarak and El-Adly to die in front of my eyes," she said.